In the world of replica cars, there are some that are so well made that you'd struggle to spot the difference to the real thing. There are even some that improve on what the original brought to the table, with more power, better handling, and improved reliability. There are plenty of examples of fiberglass Porsche 356s and Ford GT40s that would outperform their factory counterparts any day of the week.
We understand why some people choose to build a replica of their favorite car. In some cases, they are built as a cheaper tribute to the original—some of these are rare, old classics that are virtually impossible to get your hands on unless you have an income that regularly gets you featured in Forbes Magazine.
These replicas are not the ones we'll focus on in this article though. We're going to take a closer look at the most ridiculous "replicas" out there, the ones that won't fool anyone into believing they're the real deal. Looking at some of these "enthusiast's creations" we can't help but wonder what was going through their minds.
For most of the builders of these cars, they'll never have to worry about being sued for breaking copyright laws. The only thing they have to worry about is losing a ton of money when it's time to sell—that's probably when they'll realize they've lowered the value of the original car, as well as spent a small fortune on useless plastic parts. Let's take a closer look on some of the worst replicas ever made!
25 Firebird 308
Here's a not0so-great way to "save" tens of thousands of dollars. Instead of investing in an appreciating classic, like the Ferrari 308, you could buy this abomination and be the laughing stock of your friends. This 308 replica is actually based on a 1986 Pontiac Firebird, although the seller called it, "The real deal," and, "The closest thing to a real Ferrari without any of the high dollar cost." A front-engined car with an automatic transmission and four seats is hardly the closest thing to a Ferrari 308, so a replica built on a Fiero would actually be closer to being "the real deal" than this heap of junk.
24 Stratus Gallardo
As we all know, the Lamborghini Gallardo was a two-seater, mid-engined sports car, so if you want to build a remotely believable replica you should, at the very least, get that part right. Whoever built this managed to get it wrong, though. Apparently, this is one of those rare front-engined Gallardos, seeing as it's based on a Dodge Stratus. As surprising as it seems that anyone would build something like that, it's almost more surprising that people actually bid on it when it was listed on eBay.
23 Beetle 959
The legendary Porsche 959 and the VW Beetle were practically the same car. They both had a rear-engine configuration, and... I guess that's it. Oh well, that's more than enough similarity to justify building a 959 replica on a Beetle chassis. The fact that the 959 was never offered as a convertible didn't seem to bother the creator of this abomination, either. That means that no one will ever mistake it for being something truly exotic, as if there was ever any chance of that happening. We're definitely not fooled!
22 The Belaro
For a mere $6,000, EasyRods will sell you a kit that will truly transform your F-body Camaro. It isn't particularly cheap and it doesn't look particularly good, but at least you will be the owner of a truly unique car. The Belaro was supposed to resemble a 1957 Chevy, and it really does, if you squint... in the dark...from 500 yards away. In reality, it looks like a Camaro that's been beaten into submission with the biggest ugly stick they could find. There's just no way this is fooling anyone!
21 Bluebird Reventon
This is another Lambo where the engine is in the wrong location—and that's not even the saddest part of this replica. We get that owning a Lamborghini, or any other rare and expensive car, is something a lot of people aspire to, but transforming a regular car to look like one just isn't the way to go. Clearly, the owner of this one poured his heart and soul into it. Oh, and bucketloads of cash. About $14,000 was spent on this Lambo-looking Nissan Bluebird, and that's the saddest thing about this: for that kind of money the owner could have bought a car that's much cooler than this.
If you're rich in China, you can live like royalty, which also means driving any cool car you can dream of. The mechanic who built this "Lamborghini" replica decided he wasn't happy just dreaming about supercar ownership; he wanted in on the fun. This car took more than a year to build, cost $3,000 to make and was fabricated entirely out of used pipes, tubes, and sheet metal. While we really appreciate the effort, we wish he wouldn't have built it at all. In case of an accident, there are no crumple zones, meaning this "Lambo" will end up flat as a pancake.
19 Peugeot F430
This is another mid-engined supercar replica with the engine in the front. How difficult is it to get a Fiero or MR2 these days? The creator of this "beauty" decided to use a Peugeot 406 as the base for his build—but hey, at least this car is built to proper scale. But that's the only positive thing about it. There are gaping cracks in the bodywork, the tires are mismatched, and the flat black paint job isn't really up to the standards of what people would expect from Maranello's finest. At least the mirrors say F430, so that should be enough to convince most people, right?
18 Beetle Rolls
Back in 1998, VW became the owner of Rolls-Royce. Maybe that's where the idea for this build came along? Slap a Rolls-Royce front end on a Beetle and it's almost as good as the real thing. Except it's now looking worse than a standard Beetle. While the Beetle is popular with lots of kit car builders, this is hopefully the only one looking like this. Seeing as it was built in Finland, one might start to wonder if there's some truth to the winter darkness doing something to people's minds?
17 Firebird Lambo
What you're looking at here is the recipe of how to ruin a perfectly good 1997 Firebird. We don't even know what's going on with that bodywork. Was it made from an old carpet? Did it melt in the sun? Who knows, but it sure is ugly! Any true supercar needs a powerful engine, and this one is powered by a monstrous 3.8-liter, 3800 Series 2 V6. Under the hood, the color doesn't match anything else, the interior looks like something you'd find in the world's worst prisons, and the best thing about it has to be the tinfoil along the sides which could be turned into a hat, if you're crazy enough to buy this, that is.
16 MR2 F430
While this MR2 is far from the worst Ferrari Replica we've seen, and at least the engine is in the right place, there are some tell-tale signs that it's not a real Ferrari. The back end is just all kinds of wrong, it seems too long and too...weird. The ride height is also not very Ferrari-ish, but at least it shouldn't have any problems clearing speedbumps—that's not always the case with a real supercar. While it is a good effort, it's not quite good enough to fool us.
15 Cefiro Lambo
While there clearly has gone tons of work into this creation, we doubt it would fool anyone into believing it's a real Lamborghini. First of all, that all-metal body! While I haven't personally checked, I'm pretty sure the bumpers aren't made from steel on a real Lambo.
While the engine might pack some power, it's mounted in the front, which is all wrong. If you ever need a vehicle that looks like a supercar during the zombie apocalypse, this Nissan Cefiro-based replica might just be the one for you.
14 Cougar Veyron
There are some expensive kits out there that actually transform a Ford or Mercury Cougar into something resembling a Bugatti Veyron. However this car was built, though, they clearly didn't use one of those kits. As sad as this replica is, that front end just makes it look even sadder. The headlights look as if they're about to start crying any second due to the failed plastic surgery it has undergone. While the Cougar was never a beauty, to begin with, this one looks worse now than when it was standard.
13 300ZX Ferrari Mix
At first glance, we weren't quite sure what this was a replica of. The wing is rather Ferrari F40-esque, but the air intakes on the side don't match those of the F40. The Ferrari Testarossa does have similar intakes, and we suppose those tape stripes on the rear could simulate that model as well. But it can't be a Testarossa with those round taillights. Whatever this creation is supposed to be a replica of, it's not a very good one. Maybe the owner liked different aspects of every Ferrari out there and wanted to incorporate the parts he liked the most from each model?
12 Widebody 356
There's nothing wrong with a well-built Porsche 356 replica. In fact, they're so accepted that some Porsche owners groups welcome owners of 356 replicas. Usually, they're built on a shortened Beetle chassis, but some actually use a custom-made chassis. There are 356 replicas that are built to be perfect replicas of the original, and some that take the outlaw approach and make them look like modified Porsches. The problem with the widebody versions is that they are immediately recognized as a replica, seeing as Porsche never made a widebodied 356.
11 Celica 308
Why? Why would anyone in their right mind turn a classic Celica into a wannabe Ferrari? The Celica can be turned into an incredibly cool car—it doesn't need any Ferrari styling or prancing horse badges! Other than the red paint, badges, and perhaps part of the front end ( if you squint) there really isn't anything on this car that's very Ferrari-like. The only thing the owner has succeeded in is lowering the value of what once was a very nice Celica. What a shame.
10 Civic Veyron
While Civics have been the ricer's choice of transport for decades already, some of those ricers must be aspiring to become multi-millionaires and want to ease their way into Bugatti ownership. That's the only explanation we can come up with for this abomination. Whatever angle you look at this Civic EG coupe, it's not going to fool anyone into thinking they're looking at a real Veyron. That pretty much means all the hard work and money that has gone into it has been a waste.
9 Corvette Zonda
How could anyone justify ruining a Corvette C5 in order to make it look like a Zonda? And why didn't anyone tell the owner it was a really bad idea? It's not like the C5 is an ugly car. (Well, this one sure is ugly, but the normal Corvette was cool in our book.) There are just so many things wrong with this that it's hard to know where to start. There's practically nothing that resembles the real car, apart from maybe 20 percent of the front bumper.
8 Corvette Testarossa
The lines of the original Corvette that are hiding under all that plastic still shine through, quickly demolishing any notion this could be a real Ferrari Testarossa. While the kit seems to be well made, it just ends up looking like someone is trying too hard to be accepted. Some of the lines of this kit actually suit the car though, and if it was modified so it wouldn't have the typical Testarossa slats on the side and rear light covers, it could be kind of cool and different.
7 MR2 360
The scale of this 360 Modena-kitted Toyota MR2 makes it look like one of those electric cars for kids. This thing actually looks pretty well-made, which makes us wonder how much money was spent on it to turn it into something it's not. The sad part when it comes to modifying any car is that you can't expect to get your money back, and that holds especially true for cars that have been modified like this. Replicas that are so obviously not the real thing end up almost worthless when it's time to sell them.
6 Fiero Enzo
Clearly, it's not only Pinocchio who struggles with his nose growing when he lies—this Pontiac Fiero has the exact same problem. Apart from that really weird front end, this replica looks like a legit Enzo...Not!! It is absolute trash in every way and from every angle. Whoever made this managed to not get a single part of it right. There's not even any point in singling out one particular thing, it's all pure hideousness. If you drive a Fiero and want a cooler car, just keep saving and buy something else. Never ever do this. The world, and your Fiero, will thank you for it.
5 Solstice Murcielago LP 640
"Wow, look at that awesome, yellow Lambo!" said absolutely no one after seeing this Murcielago imitation. Now, there might be someone out there thinking, "It doesn't look that bad, I could drive that one". We're pretty sure they wouldn't buy it after learning that the eBay starting price was $63,244. Who in their right mind would pay that kind of money for a Pontiac Solstice-based replica? There are plenty of way more amazing cars available for that price, and they'll be factory built, so you know they won't fall apart piece by piece over the coming weeks.
4 Kei Impreza Rally Car
There are plenty of regular Subarus out there masquerading as WRX's and WRC cars, so there really is no need to try and convince people that something that's clearly not an Impreza is actually, well, an Impreza. At least it didn't cost a fortune to make this thing. Slap on a hood scoop, throw a wing on the back, change the rims, and strategically place some Subaru and STI stickers on the bodywork to finish it off. Job done. Except it looks all wrong. Wouldn't it be better to just modify it to look different from other cars, rather than trying to turn it into something it ain't?
3 Lincoln Town Car Rolls-Royce
This has got to be one of the tackiest looking vehicles we've seen in a long time. There's just no way the owner was being serious when building it. Exhibit A: that figure on the hood. That's not The Spirit Of Ecstasy! If you have a lot of time on your hands and want to build a car to make people smile (or laugh), this is the way to do it. Under all that hideousness hides a Lincoln Town Car, which wasn't a very good car to begin with, so maybe it got what it deserved?! We're not convinced it's a Rolls, but it's cooler than a regular Town Car.
2 Esteem Veyron
Of all the Veyron replicas on this list, this is the most convincing one, which says a whole lot! It kind of looks like a very scaled-down Veyron, and apparently, they didn't use the same scale for all the parts. This Suzuki Esteem is rather ridiculous, but it's funny in a good way. There's no way anyone would ever mistake it for a real Veyron, but it was probably built more as a joke rather than a real replica. At least, we hope it was a joke.
1 300ZX Reventon
If you just looked at this thing real quick, there would be a split second where your brain thought you just saw an actual Reventon. Just kidding, you would have to be completely insane in order to mistake this for anything else than what it really is: a pile of junk! Underneath all the Lambo wannabe parts, you'll find a Nissan 300ZX. We're not sure what that poor ZX ever did wrong, but it must've been something horrible if this is how it deserved to end up.
Sources: Car Throttle, Fast Car, and Super Unleaded